Back to the Classics 2020

Huzzah, Karen at Books and Chocolate has decided to go for another year of the beloved Back to the Classics Challenge!

I think some of this year's categories are pretty challenging.  Here they are:

1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.

2. 20th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1900 and 1970. All books in this category must have been published at least 50 years ago. The only exceptions are books that were published posthumously but were written at least 50 years ago. 

3. Classic by a Woman Author.

4. Classic in Translation. Any classic originally written in a novel other than your native language. You may read the book in your native language, or its original language (or a third language for all you polyglots). Modern translations are acceptable, as long as the book was originally published at least 50 years ago. Books in translation are acceptable in all other categories as well.

5. Classic by a Person of Color. Any classic work by a non-white author. 

6. A Genre Classic. Any classic novel that falls into a genre category -- fantasy, science fiction, Western, romance, crime, horror, etc. 

7. Classic with a Person's Name in the Title. First name, last name or both. Examples include Ethan Frome; Emma; Madam Bovary; Anna Karenina; Daniel Deronda; David Copperfield, etc. 

8. Classic with a Place in the Title. Any classic with the proper name of a place (real or ficitonal) - a country, region, city, town, village, street, building, etc. Examples include Notre Dame de Paris; Mansfield Park; East of Eden; The Canterbury Tales; Death on the Nile; etc.

9. Classic with Nature in the Title. A classic with any element of nature in the title (not including animals). Examples include The Magic Mountain; The Grapes of Wrath; The Jungle; A High Wind in Jamaica; Gone With the Wind; Under the Volcano; etc.

10. Classic About a Family. This classic should have multiple members of the same family as principal characters, either from the same generation or multiple different generations. Examples include Sense and Sensibility; Wives and Daughters; The Brothers Karamazov; Fathers and Sons; The Good Earth; Howards End; and The Makioka Sisters.

11. Abandoned Classic. Choose a classic that you started and just never got around to finishing, whether you didn't like it at or just didn't get around to it. Now is the time to give it another try.

12. Classic Adaptation. Any classic that's been adapted as a movie or TV series. If you like, you can watch the adaptation and include your thoughts in your book review. It's not required but it's always fun to compare.
It's 7 - 11 I'm worried about!  I suppose I'll just read along and see what fits, which is my usual method. Are you joining up?


  1. I see you and O are "going with the flow" on this one, and seeing what will fit the categories as you read through the year. I like that approach; I went ahead and listed the 12 books I plan to read that will fit each criterion, but I suppose I could always change if something doesn't work out. I did have 12 books that I want to read and that I already own, that happen to work for this challenge. So, it's kind of like doing my own "TBR Pile Challenge" without actually hosting the TBR Challenge this year. Ha! Watch, it will be the first time I finish. :P

  2. Ha! That would be pretty funny. Yes, I've always gone with the flow on this one, and only rarely had to search out a book to fit. (Though I just had to do that with Grapes of Wrath for the 'where you've lived' category.) It works out fine!

  3. One of the things I liked about the categories this year is that most of them fit my Classics Club list and I could fill them from my TBR, so I did list them. Your approach will work, too, and I bet 7-11 will pop up easier than you expect!


  4. Everyone's interpretations are so different - I was thinking I wasn't going to join any more challenges this year, but if I DO join this one, it will be because of 7-11! I'm planning a reread of One Hundred Years of Solitude (for a readalong), which would hit #10. Not sure what I'd read for 7-9 yet, but I have several options for 11. I've a bad habit of starting and not finishing. Good luck!


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